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Trump Unhappy With Border Barrier Deal Lawmakers Crafted; Jury Reaches Verdict In Trial Of Mexican Drug Lord "El Chapo". Aired 12:30- 1p ET

Aired February 12, 2019 - 12:30   ET



[12:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm thrilled. Because we're supplementing things and moving things around and we're doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less, really from far less important areas. And the bottom line is we're building a lot of wall. Right now we're building a lot of wall.

And you think it's easy? We're building in the face of tremendous obstruction and tremendous opposition from a small group of people. Now one thing that happened that was, I think very revealing, we had the biggest and best border agents and experts come up and see the committee. And they said, more than anything else, you need a barrier, you need a wall. And the recommendation was unacceptable to the Committee. So that tells you more than anything else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you really want to go through another shutdown?

TRUMP: I don't think you're going to see a shutdown. I wouldn't want to see a shutdown. If you did have it, it's the Democrats' fault. And I accepted the first one and I'm proud of what we've accomplished because people learned during that shutdown. All about the problems coming in from the Southern border, I accept that, I've always accepted it.

But this one I would never accept if it happens, but I don't think it's going to happen. But this would be totally of the Democrats. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you saying that you may amend and send back the proposed compromise, or that you may grudgingly accept it and then move forward with the executive action?

TRUMP: It's always nice to negotiate a little bit. Let's say, you know, whatever you get. But I would hope that there won't be a shutdown. I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us. It's sad. It's sad. They're doing the country no favor. They are hurting our country very badly.

But we certainly don't want to see a shutdown. But you'll be hearing fairly soon. The bottom line is on the wall, we're building the wall and we're using other methods other than this, and addition to this, we have a lot of things going. We have a lot of money in thins country. And we're using some of that money, a small percentage of the money to build a wall which we desperately need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you plan to meet with President Xi at the end of March?

TRUMP: Not at this moment. We have our people over there now. I just got a report. Things are going well with China. China wants to make a deal very badly. I wanted it to be a real deal, not just a deal that makes, you know, cosmetically looks good for a year.

We have a chance to really make a deal, a real deal with China. We've never been at this position before. We've always been the lame duck and we're not the lame duck anymore.

We've gone up tremendously in value as a country, in economic value. Tremendously.

Larry, we've gone up, what, 11 trillion, 14 trillion and China has gone down close to 20 trillion since we started this whole.


TRUMP: Say it.

KUDLOW: China worst performance stock market in the world.

TRUMP: Has anybody ever heard of Larry Kudlow? That voice. I hear that voice and you think money. Right, Larry?

KUDLOW: Thank you, sir.

TRUMP: So, I didn't even know that. That's some -- China he said is the worst performing stock market right now in the world. And we don't want that. We want China to do it what but -- and that's because of us. And we're have to be one of the best performing stock markets, but we are the best performing country. And we have a lot of potential for further growth.

So we're doing very well over in China. Our people are there, I know the people very well. And I think we're going to have some good answers. I think, either way I'm happy. I'm happy either way.

I could live receiving billions and billions of dollars a month from China. China never gave us ten cents. It was always the opposite way. Now they're paying billions of dollars a month for the privilege of coming into the United States and honestly taking advantage of our country. So we'll see how it works out

But at some point I expect to meet with President Xi, who I have a lot of respect for, I'd like a lot. And make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make. That's a way deals happen. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the March 1st deadline slide, do you think?

TRUMP: Well, thus far, I've said -- as you know, the tariffs tick up for us. In other words, we take in much more money because the tariff -- and there's nothing they can do that's comparable, so it's not like tit for tat. The tariffs kick in, they go up.

Right now, they're paying -- they're paying 25 percent on $50 billion. OK? And they are paying 10 percent on $200 billion. So we have $250 billion. We have $267 billion that we were very nice about and we're not taxing. On the $200 billion, we're paying the 10 percent. The 10 percent on $200 billion goes up to 25 percent on March 1st. And so far, I've said don't do that.

[12:35:03] Now, if we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal, and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that. OK?

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Congress sends you a deal that you disagree with, would you consider declaring a national emergency to build the wall?

TRUMP: I consider everything. I'm considering everything. You know, we already have national emergencies out there. You know, President Obama, President Clinton, President Bush -- they've declared many national -- this is not unique. They've declared many national emergencies. Many, many. And you have some out there that we can use in addition to one that we can declare if we want to do it.

Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you.


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: President of the United States taking questions in a cabinet meeting there, talking a great deal about the China trade negotiations but talking mostly about, will he or won't he sign a big important compromise agreement struck by bipartisan negotiators in Congress that would keep the government open, increase spending on border security but know we're near at the levels the President has requested.

And you get a little whiplashed. We're back in the studio here trying to follow the President here. Says he doesn't want if there's going to be a shutdown. He says if there is a shutdown again, it would be the Democrats fault this time.

He says he's very proud of what he accomplished in the last shutdown. I'd like to see the supporting evidence for that in the sense that the current deal before him is less than the deal he was offered before the shutdown. But he says I'm adding to it and I'm supplementing things.

You could take that as I'm going to sign it and do some executive steps to add to the spending or you could take that as I'm going to get a phone to Capitol Hill and tell them, I want to add before you vote. I went out -- which is it?

JULIE PACE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Great question. I really don't think we know it right now and I think he probably doesn't know completely either he's hearing from a lot of different sides.

You know, inside the White House, there are also different views on this. The majority of his advisers want him to sign this piece of legislation. They want to move on. They don't think that the shutdown was good for him politically.

But there is a small group of immigration, hard-liners led by Stephen Miller in the White House who think that the President is in the job that he is in right now to fight for everything that he can on immigration most importantly the wall. And that group, like super bombs. You know, they don't mind having controversy and probably another shutdown.

KING: I think at leadership school, they would tell you if you're undecided to say, I'm not quite sure. I need to look at this. They just did this last night. I find back from Texas. I'm sorry folks. I have some concerns about it. I need a couple of hours to study it. I'll get back to you.

That's one way to do it. Or, you get, I'm adding to it. We're going to have a big strong wall. Blame the past geniuses for the wall that we have. No, I'm not happy. I'm not happy. I'm going to supplement things. I don't think you'll have a shutdown.

Walk me how he's confused?

JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Well I mean he's trying -- I think he's trying to keep everybody guessing not, you know, us but Congress but his hard-liners. But, you know during -- when we were listening to that, Ann Coulter, who has managed to squander a deal before, said that Trump was afraid to fight. It's becoming clear that Trump was afraid to fight for the wall. Called this his yellow new deal. That's not an endorsement. So, is that who he's going to listen to it?

And last night he tried to spin the whole shutdown thing as a way that he was able to spotlight what he calls the crisis at the border and perhaps I'll try to that again if the government shutdowns again. Hopefully for the people who won't get a paycheck it doesn't gets that.

DARREN SANDS, POLITICAL REPORTER, BUZZFEED NEWS: Yes, you can hear him pinning the specter of a shutdown on the Democrats right now. And it's interesting when they have heard of the last shutdown. All the coverage was about how Trump didn't get what he wanted.

And I think the President heard that and going in to the shutdown, the reason why he's being a little bit more cagey on this is because he doesn't want that same new cycle to happen where they are saying, look, Trump didn't get what he wants. There are memes of Speaker Pelosi with her glasses on and, you know, that she walked away from the White House the winner. And obviously, that's not how Trump operates and so I think he's a being a little bit more careful as (INAUDIBLE).

KING: It is there dead right that it's smarter than the first time where he said, I would probably shutdown the government over border security, then he probably shutdown the government over border security and he pay the price for it, not only the polling which was not good which was not good for the President and not good for Republicans.

But in the deal, I think we can put the numbers back up here of the deal he was offered before the shutdown in December and the deal he was going to get now, you don't have to be a rocket scientist or say go to the best schools to know that 1.35 billion is less than 1.6 billion.

I'm reading most of what he said is that he's being nudged to the idea that he's going to have to sign this. And he's just having a really hard time to adjusting that and then they'll do whatever they want to do for executive actions to say, OK, this is all the Democrats would give me but I'm going to take more money and we're going to do more.

[12:40:04] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I learned when covering his campaign, I have the slightest idea what he's thinking at any given time and to say I do is a colossal error. I will say that from the Capitol Hill side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been telling him that he should accept whatever comes out and that these negotiators are working in his best interest and they're best. And whatever they came up with was going to be the best that he could get.

And it's important as we talked about earlier that if Republicans want to move forward on their agenda in the United State Senate particularly on nominees, particularly on judicial nominees that these needs to be cleared off the decks.

And I will tell you, I was texting with a couple Republicans during his remarks and most of them said are you surprised by this? Like, they expected this to some degree and I will note that several of them also told me, this is going to the floor. As long as the (INAUDIBLE) sign it, this bill is going to the floor one way or the other.

And so that's why the President can say whatever he wants. But the Congress wants to move forward on this and so that's going to be a pressure point too.

KING: And so you have again the establishment versus the anti- immigration hard-liners and the Trump base and in social media, and on Fox News and the like.

The Majority Leader in the House Kevin McCarthy says, sign it. Majority Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell says, sign it. Republican Leader in the House Kevin McCarthy.

So the two top Republican say, Mr. President, this is the best deal we can get. Here's Laura Ingraham, on Twitter here. She has radio shows. She's on Fox News. Let's stop calling a $1.37 billion proposal wall funding. It's more like stall funding kicking everything into the 2020 cycle.

Again, and, you know, out in the country, the President can lead his base probably any where he wants to take them. But in this echo chamber that he listens to the -- on the Hill they thought last time the President was going to sign the deal. But it was the Jim Jordan and the Mark Meadows and then the Laura Ingraham's and the Ann Coulter's who got him off.

Is he going to listen to them this time? Or he's going to listen Mitch McConnell?

KUCINICH: Anyone's guess. I think the President would say stay tuned, because you're right, he has -- he does have a tendency to gravitate toward the hard-liners, because there is this thought that's how he got elected, was on the wall. And that's how he'll get reelected.

KING: We're going to go back to other big breaking news story this hour. We now know the verdict in the trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in New York. Brynn Gingras is staying about live for us outside of the Federal Courthouse, Brynn.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've got that verdict John. It is guilty on all counts for the notorious El Chapo. That was 10 counts that jurors were considering after a 2 1/2 month long trial. The most sort of important count maybe is the first count which was running a criminal enterprise and of course jurors found him guilty on that. That carried a life sentence.

Now, it's important to note the judge in this is the one who is going to determine his sentence in the final ending of this, but again, that's what carried a life sentence. Guilty on all counts is what we're hearing. Again, we're out of Federal Courthouse, so there's no transmissions coming from the courtroom. So we need to get our reporters who've been covering this trial from day one out here to hear about his reaction. The government's reaction, his wife's reaction who's been here every single day of this trial and we'll certainly going to bring that to you.

But that is the verdict. Guilty on all counts, 10 counts that jurors were considering for the past six days here in Brooklyn for El Chapo. John.

KING: Bynn Gingras, great hassle outside the courthouse. We'll cone back to you as you we get more detail on Legal Analyst Paul Callan. I believe he's also with us.

Paul, the Treasury Department calls El Chapo the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. What do you take as the message from an overwhelming guilty plea here?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this guilty finding I think is no surprise to anybody, although, people were starting to get a little worried because the jury was out for so long. And the jurors were asking very, very interesting questions about some of the subcounts that they had to decide. But in the end, the trial portrayed somebody who was involved in perhaps thousands of killings as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, a multi-billion-dollar drug cartel.

And his methodology in smuggling drugs was really outstanding and unbelievable to most people. For instance, he even used a submarine to bring some drugs into the United States. So, he was a man of staggering power and as the prosecutors described consummate evil.

And so I think the verdict come as no surprise to anybody.

KING: No surprise to anybody. Obviously, it's a sad thing to say ands some people will find this a sick thing to say. But if you take somebody like this off the market, if you will, off the streets, someone will try to take the place.

Is this something that would send a message including the fact that after a lot of negotiations, the Mexican government did cooperate to help bring El Chapo here for trial?

CALLAN: Well, I think it's a good sign that there was cooperation and I think it was ultimately a recognition by the Mexican government that he was too big for them to handle.

[12:45:02] Remember, El Chapo had escaped on multiple occasions from Mexican prisons. John, there was fascinating testimony in the trial from one of the cooperators -- the cooperating witnesses with the prosecutors saying that there were huge bribes of government officials including a $100 million bribe of a former Mexican President.

Now, that of course has been denied by the Mexicans, but it was clear that the ability of the Mexicans to hold him and try him fairly was in doubt. So the fact that he's held by the United States, I think, will make a lot of people happy.

And the other thing I want to mention is, he'll get a life sentence here probably he make it consecutive sentences here but he faces at least I think 10 other jurisdictions in the United States which have charges pending against him.

KING: And Brynn Gingers is still outside of the courtroom. A compelling case from the government, including the fact he was able to continue running the cartel while he was in prison many through bribes. That they control 40 to 60 percent of the Mexican drug trade, $3 billion annually El Chapo claimed in 2014 that he had killed 2,000 to 3,000 people. When you look at that, it seems like a shut case.

What was the argument the defense made in this trial? How did they try to say not him?

GINGRAS: Yes, you know, they didn't put out much of a defense. They actually were just using the government's witnesses and sort of saying, look at this person, they're actually getting a deal because they are, you know, in prison for other charges. So that was really their defense throughout this trial. They didn't really have much of a defense. So that's really one of the reasons everyone as Paul noted was saying

what's taking so long. But again, this was a trial that had, it was very dense. There was a lot of witnesses and there was a lot of drama and video and audio.

And I do want to give you some color right now of a reporter in the courtroom, Sonia Moghe. Again, she's been covering this, or producer, rather. She's been covering this from day one. And she says that when this all came down, El Chapo looked at his wife and he wave and they smiled at each other and she touch her hand to her chest. So that is the reaction from the man found guilty at all counts and could possibly be spending the rest of his life in prison likely. So, again, the judge will make a final determination of that.

But that, his wife, much younger wife was somewhat of a fixture in this courtroom and someone of, you know, everyone started paying attention to her because she's much younger. She came in sometimes wearing the same clothes as El Chapo in solidarity particularly on the day that his mistress was testifying for the government.

She brought in their twin daughters one day to support him. She's never left really his side even thought, let's remember, this is a man who has been kept in solitary confinement. He's put in a separate room by himself while these jurors deliberated. So, certainly that reaction is interesting that they just smiled at each other and she touched her chest.

Certainly we're going to get a little bit more information from Sonia when she's able to exit that courtroom certainly it takes a little while for that to happen while they wrap up of these charges. John.

KING: And Brynn thereby we actually have Sonia, our producer, Sonia Moghe on the phone for us. So Sonia, Brynn's describing it from the outside. Take us inside the courtroom at this big dramatic moment.

SONIA MOGHE, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, this is a moment that people have been waiting for involved in the trial who's been watching the trials for months. And almost exactly three months to the day since this trial began. And as that verdict was read down by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, the room was quiet. El Chapo, Joaquin Guzman and his wife Emma Coronel appeared emotionless.

In fact, just the sort that the verdict was read before the judge or jurors entered the room, a member of the defense team walked up to Emma and try to hand her some Kleenex and she said no. And as soon as the verdict was read, you know, Joaquin Guzman looked over to his wife and he smiled at her, he waved at her. She smiled back at him. She put her hands to her chest as Brynn was saying.

And as we asked her, you know, how are you feeling right now? She said, good, thank you. And that was it.

And, you know, this has been a very, very long journey for her, for the defense teams, for prosecutors, you know, the jurors also heard hundreds of hours of testimony and have been deliberating for, you know, 34 hours. So this is obviously going to take some time to sink in and, you know, remains it seems what, what is going to be next for the defense team.

But from that court house alone, on that criminal, continuing criminal enterprise count, Joaquin Guzman will face a mandatory life sentence and his sentencing again is expected to be in June.

KING: Sentencing in June. Sonia Moghe, appreciate the live reporting straight out of the courtroom there again. For those of you who just joined us, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, 61-years-old, the world's most notorious Mexican drug lord according to United States government convicted on all 10 counts in a Federal trial in New York.

Appreciate the live reporting from the scene. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.


[12:54:36] KING: Back now to other big breaking news here in Washington. The President of the United States in an extended session with reporters at the White House sending mixed signals saying he's not happy, not happy, not happy. He said that several times about compromise broken in Congress that would, yes, keep the government open. Yes, increase border security spending but, no, not give the President anywhere near the amount of money he wants for a new border wall.

The President saying he wants to add to it, says he can supplement things. Unclear from what the President said though is, will he sign it and try to do that through executive action or is he going to try to now reinsert of self into the Congressional negotiations.

[12:55:08] Congressional negotiations that took some time that went of the rails over the weekend, that finally got back on tract last night. Do we have any sense of what or how -- what the President said is playing in these early minutes after on Capitol Hill?

MATTINGLY: Again, I think the biggest thing that I've heard is people aren't super surprised. They kind of assumed that this might be part of the reaction.

I think the concern is, OK, what is the impact of this down the line? First you need to confer is to actually sign the deal once it's actually done. There are House Republicans on the Conference Committee who have already said that they're not totally sure.

We got Senator Republicans who have kind of waiting and seeing where the President is going to be on this. If they want to move this forward, that's the first step and so I think that's the primary thing they're concerned about.

I think the secondary thing is the reason this got to this point, even through the breakdown over the weekend into a final agreement is because the President stayed out of it. And to some degree it's because Speaker Pelosi stayed out of it and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stayed out of it.

Now the President inserting himself, I think people are happy at least it was after the deal was struck but one this means for vote counts and what this means for whether or not he's actually going to veto something. I think everybody is just kind of throwing their hands up to some degree right now.

KING: And when you get the title President at some point, you have to be part of it. And one of the interesting things here is that, you know, whether you're a fan of John Kelly or not a fan of John Kelly, some people thought, perhaps mistakenly, other one Mick Mulvaney, the forme Budget Director by former House member became chief of staff then at least this part would run more smoothly.

If you had somebody familiar with the Congress part, this part will run more smoothly. No.

KUCINICH: Well, clearly they didn't know a lot about Mick Mulvaney's record as a Congressman, because he was someone who was very pro- shutdown. He was kind of in the freedom caucus mold. So that doesn't really square with who he is.

And, you know, just on this weekend he said another shutdown wasn't off the table. So, he's not really on the side of, you know, keeping things moving in the Federal Government.

SANDS: And we commented during the break that the President looked mad, he looked a little angry and annoyed. And for me, I would go back to last night when he gives his rally and he's looking sad and really kind of wistful at this idea that his campaign slogan next time isn't going to be "Make America Great Again". It's going to be "Keep America Great".

You can kind of see and he's talking about, build a wall, you got to change the chance. Got to be finish the wall now. And people are like OK. But I think, really the President --

KUCINICH: Will build the wall?

SANDS: Yes. Right. Well, I get feel like the President was a little bit wistful again about this idea that he's heading into a new transitioning into a new phase of his career as President. There was a guy down the street with a huge rally, maybe a little bit bigger, with better ideas and really the same kind of message which is making an irrational thing seem rational. The idea that Beto O'Rourke could have been Ted Cruz is an irrational thing in Texas. But he made seemed real and I think that momentum is something that is going to be really important.

KING: It's a key dynamic in whatever you think the President was saying there. The President clearly not in a place where he's willing to give you a linear, definitive answer yet. Part of it is, will the government shutdown again in Friday. Part of it is, how this is all play out? How does it all play out in the 2020 campaign?

Another subject that came up is the Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who has said some things that she was rebuke by her own Democratic leadership. Rebuke by Republicans anti-Semitic statements.

The President also talked about that a bit earlier.


TRUMP: One other thing I might want to say is that anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. And Congresswoman Omar is terrible what she said. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What she said is so deep seated in her heart that her lame apology -- and that's what it was, it was lame and she didn't mean a word of it.


KING: The congresswoman she apologized unequivocally after being lectured by her own Democratic leadership. But this is one of the things that frustrates Democrats in the sense that when they have a member say something horrific, that they allow the President to somehow claim more a high ground on issues of division, on issues of statements you wish you didn't say. Or if you say them and you believe them that are quite controversial.

PACE: It's partially why you saw the Democratic leadership come out so quickly to condemn those comments from her. They're trying any time they have a moment like this where they have someone who says something or does something that the President could try to take higher ground and you're going to see Democrats come down quickly to try to get ahead of that.

SANDS: And also going to be careful because, you know, people of color and the activists on the progressive wing, the party, don't like when Pelosi comes down hard on some of these members because they represent constituencies that they need.

KING: It's the member left or no choicer in this?


KING: That's what we see. All right, thanks for joining us in today in INSIDE POLITICS. Busy day of breaking news. I appreciate your patience. For our international viewers, "Amanpour" up next.

For our viewers here in the United States, Brianna Keilar starts right now.